Repost: Pandemics and Epidemics

Less than a year ago. It was firmly agreed that the world wasn’t prepared for another outbreak. It’s a heartbreaking way to be proved correct.

So I’ve reposted here as an interesting read. I’m reluctant to say much about the current COVID-19 outbreak because there’s so much we don’t know and the information is changing daily. For examples, we don’t know how long it can last on surfaces, whether it’s possible to be rapidly re-infected, at what point to implement mass lockdowns.

However, all the experts can definitely agree that we should all be avoiding unnecessary social contact and maintaining excellent hygiene.

 

As a side note, I apologise for not writing for such a while. I’m planning to shift to a fortnightly writing schedule as my university studies have ramped up (although I have this week off in preparation to go fully online as many institutions are globally).

Scientia Potentia Est

Screen Shot 2019-03-31 at 12.50.56 pm What’s the future of modern medicine looking like? Image sourced from WSFB website

As I mentioned in my post from last Friday, I attended the Pandemics and Epidemics event at the World Science Festival Brisbane.

It was an incredible experience with a stellar lineup of panel experts who engaged in the best discussion I heard all weekend. And I figured that I needed a whole post here to really do it justice. So you’ll be reading about why epidemics are so dangerous to modern medicine, how we can deal with them, animal reservoirs for disease, and even bioterrorism!

The session started with an overview of some of the major epidemics and diseases from history, which I’ll briefly summarise for you:

Bubonic Plague
  • Also known as the Black Death
  • It killed 60% of Europe’s population
  • Between 75-200 million total deaths (1340-1770)
  • Spread along trade routes
  • It’s still around today
Spanish Flu

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